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Where does Bylsma go from here?

Jun 6, 2014, 2:46 PM EST

Dan Bylsma AP

Not long ago, Dan Bylsma was the toast of the NHL’s coaching fraternity. A Stanley Cup winner. A Jack Adams Award recipient. The picture of composure, as portrayed by the storytellers at HBO.

Today, Bylsma was fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins, a star-studded team that underachieved in the last five postseasons under his guidance. There have been reports that he’d lost the room, and that his relationships with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin had become frayed.

Bylsma was also the head coach of the United States Olympic team in Sochi, where the tournament started well for the Americans, only to end in disappointment and embarrassment. Soon after, U.S. captain Zach Parise had to make clear he wasn’t being critical of the coaching staff when he said the team played “passive.”

Yet another example of how quickly things can change in pro sports. (Meanwhile, Darryl Sutter, not long ago that clueless guy in Calgary, and Alain Vigneault, fired after last season by Vancouver, are coaching for the Stanley Cup.)

So, where does Bylsma go from here? Besides Pittsburgh, there are three coaching vacancies in the NHL — Vancouver, Carolina, and Florida.

It’s hard to believe Bylsma won’t be a strong candidate to fill at least one of those vacancies. In fact, it’s possible all three teams will pursue him, and he might have to pick one.

Consider:

One of the six teams that Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler was reportedly willing to be traded at the deadline was Pittsburgh. And that was after Kesler played for Bylsma in Sochi. Would hiring Bylsma, combined with a free-agent addition or two, convince Kesler to stay? Remember that new Canucks general manager Jim Benning thinks he can turn things around “in a hurry.”  That wouldn’t be so easy without Kesler.

Or, might Bylsma prefer Carolina, where he’d be reunited with former Penguin Jordan Staal and US d-man Justin Faulk? The Hurricanes’ roster is hardly bereft of potential, even if the job wouldn’t be as high profile.

Florida can’t be completely discounted either. There’s young talent there, not to mention new ownership that’s promising to spend money to improve the roster. There’s also Roberto Luongo in goal, while Vancouver and Carolina are far less certain at that position.

Related: Penguins seek complete directional change without sweeping roster moves

  1. JoeAvg - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    I’ve no doubt that Bylsma will learn from his mistakes and will make a fine coach somewhere/someday. But he should have been let go after last season.

    • 950003cups - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      TOLD YA SO!

      • 950003cups - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        JoeAvg

        He’s NOT a good coach. He never was a good coach. I doubt he’ll ever be a good coach.

  2. ravanator - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    So happy the Caps hired Trotz. We took the best available head coach in the league off the market already. Bylsma should probably retire after seeing the terrible job he did with the Pens. Great day to be a Caps fans. We have such a bright future.

    #pensarefallingapart
    #steelcitymeltdown

    • hockeyfan1701 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      Yes, the 2009 cup was a terrible moment.

    • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Hey Garbage,where are the Craps Stanley Cups?

      • ravanator - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        Just stating the cold hard facts. Garbage? Now your name calling like a little kid. Sorry my superior intelligence has made you so upset. Stay classy and mature Pens fans. Cheers!

        #baltimore>pittsburgh
        #ovi>malkin>crosby

      • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Yes you are garbage

      • dannymac17 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        I find it hilarious Caps fans are chiming in on something Penguins related with Ovi and could never get to the dance. Know your place.

    • lowenni - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      As a Caps fan, I’m gonna politely ask you to stop @ravanator. First of all, Caps fans are better than that and should have some class and respect, and second of all (unfortunately) the Pens have won more Cups in the past six years then the Caps have won in their history–we’re hardly in a position to talk after we didn’t even make the playoffs this season. Have some class.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      Maybe a Capitals fan could laugh at a Leafs fan, but this seems akin to a turd laughing at the ground it’s sitting on.

  3. govtminion - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    If the Canucks are smart, they’ll bring him in to try to rejuvenate the careers of the Sedins and the rest of what is still (at least in theory) a good offense.

    …And if the Canucks were smart they wouldn’t have brought in Torts to begin with, so… punt?

  4. joey4id - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    I think Bylsma, being the polar opposite of Torts, might be have a calming effect in Van like AV had replacing Torts in NY.

  5. ducksk - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Torts is done for awhile. Nobody worked harder than Danny B, but did not win the cup again and paid the price. Period. But lets not forget the asst. GM’s, scouts and players in that accomplishment. 1 team in 30 win the cup every year. Some teams have never won it. Some teams go decades. Pitt has a cup and dan has a great winning %. He will be fine. Stop the personal attacks about people, good people who you will never ever be able to share their company with. Get back to work, before you are fired and blame someone else.

    • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      Are you Dan’s brother or dad?
      It sure as hell sounds like it

    • miketoasty - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Bylsma never really excelled as a coach for the Penguins though. Yea, when it comes to regular season games where there is very little scouting or tape watching he did fine, but when it came to actually being a coach, making moves in game, and adjusting he just can’t handle it.

      I would say that maybe the team wasn’t built around his game but then you look at the Olympics and that team looked exactly the same as the Penguins did, just a passive team more worried about scoring pretty goals than grinding out a win.

      You can’t look at his playoff stats since 2010 and seriously think that this guy can handle the pressure (As of right now).

      2010 against the Canadians he lost two in a row including a game seven at home (There is a trend here by the way).

      2011 we can call a wash since he was without Crosby and Malkin but once again lost a game seven at home and even floundered a 3-1 Series lead.

      2012 he got completely embarrassed by the Flyers and an obviously more experienced coach in Laviolette. Bylsma did nothing to help his star players with match-ups and basically let them do whatever they want without repercussion as they took stupid penalty after stupid penalty.

      2013 First off, to make it to the finals he beat the Islanders and the Senators, two teams that really aren’t that great, both of which missed the playoffs this year. Then against the Bruins he once again fell apart, did nothing to help the Crosby versus Chara matchup and completely misplayed Iginla (Who moved on to Boston and had a great post season).

      2014 Once again lost a game seven at home even after having a 3-1 Series lead after only beating the Blue Jackets.

      I’m not saying that he won’t get better as a coach but as of right now he is just too damn stubborn and never wants to move away from “His” game even after years of failure. If he doesn’t win a cup his first year here I doubt he makes it past they Flyers series in 2012.

  6. 19inarow - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    All these great coaches out there and Garth Snow keeps Jack Capuano employed.

  7. sportsfan69 - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Welcome to the Florida Panthers! Perfect landing spot. Young and willing to learn. Not set their in ways.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      I’d take him….

  8. sportsfan69 - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Thank you Pittsgurgh! You better get a hands off coach, that willing kiss to b@tt to Cindy Crosby and Malkin.

    • joey4id - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      how did that work out with Bylsma?

    • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      So when are Panthers moving out of Florida? Should be any day now. Welcome to Seattle.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Panthers are not moving anytime soon. Cold hard facts: the Panthers are top 5 in ad revenue in the league, as a last place team. They are locked in a lease until 2027-28, and if you think Broward County will let just leave, don’t forget they just paid for brand new scoreboard for the price of 4.2 million dollars.

      • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        They are top 5 due to other fans coming in and buying tickets to see their team.

  9. ducksk - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    theageofquarrel. I have respect for professionals. Who work a
    Hard, very hard and fall short of expectations. Something you obviously will never achieve. Can I have extra sauce on my #2?

    • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      Oh wow you really put me in my place Mr. Bylsma. But I’m sure you are the drive thru jockey Mr. Bylsma.

    • ravanator - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      Keep working hard at your job. We work and pay taxes so the people of Pittsburgh can collect a welfare check each week. We are heroes to their small city. Cheers!

      #steelcitymeltdown
      #urjealous

      • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        Try a little harder, Garbage

  10. drewsylvania - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    There’s always barber college.

  11. ducksk - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    And you a passionate fan, albeit clueless. Hold the mayo dbag

    • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      I am truly sorry your son or brother lost his job.
      Also,you know there is this little button under posts called reply but I guess you can’t understand that,dummy

  12. ducksk - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    I don’t have the button. So, if my son was Danny boy, you feel free to insult me as well. What a pathetic human you are. Order up! Seriously, what are you? Bitter, jealous? Or just a ver very all man? I’m off to enjoy my great life.

    • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:29 PM

      I’m a ver very all man,dummy

  13. deezenucks - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    LOL, the Pens won a cup and make the playoffs consistently and win. Fleury is 17th all time in playoff wins after this year.
    The Capitals have done absolutely nothing of note, Ovi is not a 2 way player which you need to be if you wanna be one of the best.
    You know this isn’t twitter right and logicalvoices was never funny

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